A UNION boss pledged to “leave no stone unturned” in his attempts to keep the plant going and stop thousands of people losing their jobs.

In the aftermath of Honda’s announcement to close its Swindon and put 3,500 jobs at risk, Unite national officer for the automotive sector Des Quinn said: “We acknowledge the global challenges that Honda has outlined in its statement, but we don’t accept that this plant, with its highly skilled and dedicated workforce, does not have a viable future.

“We are now entering a period of meaningful consultations with the management to examine in detail the business case put forward by the company. We will leave no stone unturned to keep this plant going and its workforce in employment.

“While Brexit is not mentioned by the company as a reason for the announcement, we believe that the uncertainty that the Tory government has created by its inept and rigid handling of the Brexit negotiations lurks in the background.

“If the government had delivered a strong and stable Brexit that protected the economy and jobs, we may well have been in a very different position today.

“We have met the company this morning and will be meeting representatives of the workforce at what is an extremely worrying time for our members and their families.

“The impact of any closure on the Wiltshire economy and more widely throughout the UK supply chain can’t be underestimated - it would be devastating. That’s why Unite will be making every effort to avoid that catastrophic outcome.”

The secretary of the Trades Union Congress blamed the prime minister’s Brexit uncertainty for the Honda plant closing.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady blamed Brexit, for the decision, despite Honda stating that Britain leaving the EU had nothing to do with the closure.

“The prime minister’s refusal to take no-deal off the table is putting thousands of jobs in jeopardy. She must end this crippling Brexit uncertainty by extending Article 50 and dropping her destructive red lines.

“Workers at Honda must not pay the price for the prime minister playing to the hardliners in her party and we urge Honda to sit down urgently with Unite to discuss a way forward for the plant.”